Private Edward Sydney Haigh, 12649

  • Batt - 8
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Section -
  • Date of Birth - 1887
  • Died - 15/07/1916
  • Age - 28

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Source: Michael Doyle Their Name Liveth For Evermore: The Great War Roll of Honour for Leicestershire and Rutland.
He was the son of Walter Haigh, a certificated school master, born 20th June 1855 in High Bridge, Scissett, Yorkshire and baptised on the 29th December 1856 in St. Augustine’s Church, Scissett and his wife Sarah Ann Haigh (nee Wiggins, married on the 12th May 1883 in St. George’s Church, Barnsley, Yorkshire), a certificated school mistress, born 1855 in Leeds, Yorkshire. Edward Sydney was a schoolboy and was born in the 4th quarter of 1887 in Worsborough, Barnsley, Yorkshire, his siblings were, Walter, a schoolboy, born in the 1st quarter of 1885 and Joseph Reginald, a schoolboy, born in the 1st quarter of 1886, both his siblings were born in Worsborough, in April 1891 the family home was at School House, Highstone Road, Worsborough. In March 1901 Edward was residing in the family home at School House, Highstone Road, Worsborough, together with his father, a certificated schoolmaster, his mother a certificated schoolmistress and his siblings, Walter, a pupil teacher, Joseph, a pupil teacher and Ida Muriel Mary, born 21st September 1894 in Worsborough. In April 1911 Edward was employed as an assistant teacher and was residing in the family home at School House, Highstone Road, Worsborough, together with his widowed father, a head teacher and his siblings, Walter, an assistant teacher and Ida. Edward’s two older brother’s both died during the conflict, Walter fell in action on the 25th September 1916 and Joseph died of wounds received in action on the 29th March 1918.
Edward enlisted/attested into the Regular Army on the 1st September 1914 in Loughborough, and was allotted the service number 8/12649. He gave his place of birth as Worsborough, Barnsley, Yorkshire and age as 26 years 150 days. His marital status was given as unmarried and his trade or calling as teacher.
He confirmed that he had previously with the York Dragoons.
His medical examination took place in Loughborough on the 31st August 1914 and recorded his apparent age as 26 years 10 months, that he was 5-feet 7 inches in height, had a chest measurement of between 35 and 38 inches, his complexion was described as fresh, he had grey eyes and his hair colour was dark brown, his vision was described as normal and his physical development was described as normal.
He gave his next of kin as his father Walter Haigh, brother, Walter Haigh, 131, sister, Ida Haigh, 131, Derby Road, Loughborough.
During his period of military service, the following events of note occurred: -
Joined. At Leicester. 1/9/14.
Posted. To Depot Leicestershire Regt. Pte. 1/9/14.
Posted. To 8th Bn. Leicestershire Regt. 29/9/14.
Appointed. Lance Corporal (paid). 1/2/15.
Admitted. To Shorncliffe Military Hospital, injured hernia. 30/3/15.
Discharged. From Hospital. 30/4/15.
Admitted. To Convalescence, Deal, Kent. 30/4/15.
Discharged. From Convalescence. 6/5/15.
Reverts. To Private at own request. 17/5/15.
Embarked. 29/7/15.
Reported. Missing in action. In the Field. 15/7/16.
Killed in action. Place not stated. In the Field. 15/7/16.
Summary of Service.
Home Service. 1/9/14 – 28/7/15. 331 days.
Expeditionary Force, France. 29/7/15 – 15/7/16. 351 days.
Total Service. 1 year 317 days.
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
In September 1940, as the result of a fire caused by an incendiary bomb at the War Office Record Store in Arnside Street, London, approximately two thirds of 6.5 million soldiers’ documents for the First World War were destroyed. Those records which survived were mostly charred or water damaged and unfit for consultation and became known as the “burnt documents.” As a consequence, the content and condition of the surviving records can range from good to extremely poor. The hand written information is, in some instances barely legible, and the number of pages that should comprise a full record, in some cases are either badly damaged or missing entirely, however where possible the available information has been transcribed so that it may at least offer the reader a little descriptive insight into some, if not all of the events and background information surrounding the period of service.
The War Diary records: 14 Jul-16 - 3.00am. Dispositions as follows, Battalion Headquarters same place as above, “D” Company in 2 lines of 2 platoons with its right on the railway 200 yards in front of north edge of wood. “C” Company moved up to the north edge, “B” Company supporting 7th LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT lying in the north east corner of the wood, “A” Company supported the 6th LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT lying out in the open on the eastern side of the wood. Battalion raiders and “D” Company bombers were lying out in front of “D” Company 1st wave. During our intense bombardment from 3.00am, enemy subjected the north edge of the wood and the wood itself to very heavy bombardment and machine gun fire. 3.25am “D” Company advanced preceded by the raiders and bombers to their objective which was about 100 yards of VILLA TRENCH to the left of the railway LEFT TRENCH and ASTON TRENCH. During intense bombardment they crept up as close as possible. In the actual attack this Company suffered considerably from hostile machine gun fire, not a single officer reaching VILLA TRENCH. The Company was led by its N.C.O.’s. Very little opposition was encountered once VILLA TRENCH was reached, dug outs were immediately bombed and the Lewis guns which followed up closely took up a position in VILLA TRENCH and caused a considerable number of casualties amongst the retreating enemy. Although the majority of the raiders had been knocked out, the remainder did excellent work in bombing towards the left flank and blocking VILLA and ASTON TRENCHES. “D” Company consolidated these trenches as quickly as possible. At 4.25am “C” Company and 1st waves of “A” and “B” Companies advanced over the 450 yards of no man’s land and arrived at BAZENTIN LE PETIT WOOD, “C” Company going up the west side of the wood as far as FOREST TRENCH support, eventually advancing with 7th LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT as far as the north edge of the wood on the way bombing two enemy dug outs in the wood. This Company’s final position was from ASTON TRENCH to within about 100 yards of North West corner of wood. “B” Company and “A” Company on arrival at the wood pushed forward in support of 7th and 6th LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT the whole three advancing to the north edge of the wood and BAZENTIN LE PETIT village. The enemy put up a strong resistance in FOREST TRENCH but withdrew to the outskirts of the village and the extreme north east corner of the wood, the time was about 8.00am. During the advance over no man’s land a number of casualties received due to enemy machine gun situated in the middle of the wood on platforms up large trees. About 5.00am Commanding Officer and Adjutant came over to South West corner of wood where Battalion Headquarters was established. 5.25am last wave of “A” and “B” Companies came over and passed right through the wood to the North edge. 5.00am. Enemy counter attacked up ASTON and VILLA TRENCHES with bombs and rifle grenades, “C” Company under 2nd Lieutenant ALEXANDER formed bombing parties and drove them back, the latter and the Colonel losing their lives about this time. The left flank was continually rifle grenaded till about 2.30pm. 10.00am. Enemy counter attacked the North edge of the wood but were repulsed by rifle and Lewis Gun fire after 3 hours of fighting. About this time 50 men were sent up from FOREST TRENCH where they were consolidating to support “C” Company’s right. Every effort was now made to consolidate positions gained. From 3.00 to 4.15pm enemy bombarded BAZENTIN LE PETIT WOOD and no man’s land very heavily, using tear shells, when the 1st EAST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT came up with reinforcements. Night of 14th/15th. North edge of wood was much troubled by a party of enemy entrenched outside, who caused several casualties with rifle grenades and sniping. This party was eventually driven out by stokes gun on night of 16th/17th instant.
The War Diary records: 15 Jul-16 - 6.00am. Battalion had orders to withdraw to a spot in rear of MAMETZ WOOD together with the 7th and 9th LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT. On its arrival it was ordered to resume its positions in BAZENTIN LE PETIT WOOD as soon as possible, which it did. Nothing of importance happened after this till the Battalion was relieved except continual sniping from the enemy. Rations and water and small arms ammunition came up each evening and were successfully distributed except in the case of an isolated party of “B” Company in BAZENTIN village on evening of 14th.

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
  • Burial Place - Iv C 10, Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz
  • Other Memorials - Loughborough Carillon, War Memorial Bell Tower
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Flatiron Copse Cem., Mametz, France
  • Born - Worsborough Dale, Yorkshire
  • Enlisted - 01/09/1914 in Loughborough, Leicestershire
  • Place of Residence - 131 Derby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, England

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